This large and captivating painting of Krishna cavorting with the gopis in the Yamuna river is an illustration from the Harivamsa and can be associated with a dispersed series attributed by Goswamy and Fischer to Purkhu of Kangra. The Harivamsa, or genealogy of Hari, is a collection of stories mostly concerning the life of Krishna and is regarded as related to, and perhaps an appended part of, the Mahabharata.
Purkhu of Kangra (active circa 1780-1820) was the leading artist at the court of Raja Sansar Chand (r.1775-1823). He painted a number of large court scenes of the Kangra rulers and princes as well as several large-scale series illustrating various Hindu texts such as the Shiva Purana, the Rasikapriya, the Gita Govinda and the Harivamsa. Purkhu seems happiest when working in a large format and the series of manuscript illustrations attributed to him are among the largest in scale of the Pahari miniatures.